The opening of the new tower at Nelson Airport today is a welcome investment in both safety and the region’s links to the world, says Nelson MP Nick Smith.
“The new $6m tower provides a much improved facility for our ten air traffic controllers and is an important part of the $30m upgrade of facilities at Nelson Airport. The tower gives controllers 360-degree views of the airfield from 22 metres above. It becomes operational this Saturday night, the new terminal in early October and the total redevelopment of the airport is due for completion in October 2019.
“This massive project is overdue with the huge growth in aircraft and passenger movements. The number of passengers through Nelson Airport has grown from 70,000 a year to a million a year, and aircraft movements from 8,000 a year to 46,000 a year over the past 25 years that I have been MP. This investment is required to catch up on the facilities that have been unable to cope with the increased numbers as well as providing for future growth.”
The $6m investment by Airways Corporation in the new Nelson tower was approved by the National Government in April 2015.
“Aviation has become a core industry for the Nelson economy due to our geography, well-located airport, competitive services and growing skill base. I congratulate Airways Corporation, Nelson Airport Ltd, and Gibbons on successfully completing this central piece of Nelson infrastructure.”